Mara Management
Development of planning process Description of the Reserve Planning framework Educational context Cultural context
The Masai Mara National Reserve is today faced by unprecedented challenges. 
Inside the Reserve, escalating pressures from tourism development and growing visitor numbers drawn by the world-renown of the Reserve’s wildebeest migration and other exceptional natural resources are leading to a decline in the quality of the tourism product, and to a deterioration of the natural habitats on which the Reserve’s tourism product is based, which is in turn leading to a major decline in several of the Reserve’s charismatic wildlife species. 
Outside the Reserve, there is growing pressure from local communities to use the Reserve’s pastures and water sources for livestock, because of the diminishing supplies of these resources in the wider ecosystem, and deteriorating community livelihoods. Rapidly changing land-use in the Greater Mara Ecosystem and rapid and uncontrolled tourism infrastructure development is also leading to diminishing dispersal areas and migratory corridors for the Reserve’s wildlife, and enhanced poaching and human-wildlife conflict. In the face of all these and other challenges, the Reserve’s management has been unable to respond adequately to the changing circumstances, lacking as it does a clear road map for the future management of the Reserve in a radically changing world, and also lacking the financial resources, manpower and infrastructure to address the emerging challenges.
In response to these grave concerns about the future of the Reserve, the County Councils of Narok and Trans Mara together with the Mara Conservancy, which is responsible for managing the Mara Triangle section of the Reserve, resolved in May 2007 to jointly finance the development of a new 10-year management plan for the Masai Mara National Reserve (MMNR), the first management plan for the Reserve to be developed for a quarter of a century. The main aims of the plan are to:
  • .Ensure conservation of the Reserve’s globally significant biodiversity
  • .Maintain the role of the Reserve as the flagship of Kenya’s tourism industry
  • .Improve on a sustainable basis the revenues generated by the Reserve, to support increasing community livelihood and PA management needs
  • .Provide a practical management framework to support Reserve managers in carrying out their day-to- day management responsibilities.
In order to achieve these aims, the new plan sets out a set of stakeholder and management agreed goals (the purpose statements and objectives) that Reserve managers will aim to achieve, and a series of prescriptions and management actions that will be implemented in order to ensure these goals are achieved. The plan mainly focuses on the management of the Reserve itself, although, to a limited degree, it does also address issues beyond the Reserve that are impacting on the area, such as regarding ecological or community issues.
This mind map is an expression of the  2nd Draft Management Plan of 2009